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Alexander Volkov, from beating the USA in the Seoul 88 basketball final to fighting Russia in Ukraine

Volkov, with Jordi Villacampa in 2006 and dressed as a soldier in 2022. / TWITTER

The situation of the former Olympic champion has been revealed by the former Joventut player Jordi Villacampa who has described it as “horror”

Inaki Judge

Behind every combatant hides a life story that is always valuable and, sometimes, really exciting. This is the case of Alexander Volkov, one of the many Ukrainians who have put on the camouflage suit to defend their country from the Russian attack. Seeing him, few would imagine that, in reality, he is an Olympic champion. Specifically, basketball as he was part of the legendary Soviet Union team that beat the US ‘dream team’ at the 1988 Seoul Games. A man with a medal not won on a battlefield but in a tournament that is synonymous with peace and harmony between peoples since the times of ancient Greece.

The 180 degree turn in Volkov’s life has been revealed by another legendary basketball player, the great Jordi Villacampa. The former player and also former president of Joventut de Badalona has published two photos that are actually close in time but that seem taken from past lives. The first, with the Catalan in 2006, both in street suits when they were presidents of Joventut and Kiev-Basket respectively in the FIBA ​​Eurocup final held in the Ukrainian capital. The second, in a military uniform and armed in a vehicle in 2022. “A horror,” exclaims Villacampa concisely and at the same time categorically in his Twitter message along with the Ukrainian flag. And everyone in the social network has not been able to do more than agree with him.

Surely Volkov, considered the pillar of the USSR team in the 1980s, could not have imagined that 34 years later he would end up taking up arms to fight against the country of many of his teammates. His undeniable talent under the baskets, thanks to his 2.08 meter height, even made it possible for him to play in the NBA itself when it was not yet a common destination among European players.

Interestingly, Alexander Volkov is Russian, as he was born 57 years ago in Omsk, although he moved to Ukraine at a very young age. Naturalized in his adopted country, he decided to pursue politics when he hung up his boots as a basketball player. In fact, he became Sports Minister from 1999 to 2000, as well as president of the basketball federation. Now, he has changed the free kicks for the real ones, for the ones that kill the enemy. Well, that, “horrible”.

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